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Where to start?

Hi all,

I wonder if you wouldn't mind giving me a little bit of advice as to where to start with my garden?! I'm a complete novice, my husband took control of the garden but hasn't done anything for the last year or so. I'm keen to take over responsibility but if I'm honest I am completely bewildered by it all. I bought my first copy of Gardeners World Magazine this week and whilst its very informative, I need a real back to basics guide.

We have a relatively small garden, a two year old little boy with another on the way. Ideally I'd like a garden which looks pretty but is functional, where the children can play and we can entertain.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Than you very much for any help/advice you are able to provide.




  • PoddingtonPPoddingtonP Posts: 196

    What have you already got? Lawn, patio, beds? 

    In my experience of having small children,it will very quickly be taken over with toys- swing, slide etc. If you're not careful.  If you haven't got room for much for the children my one recommendation would be a sandpit as its not too much of an eyesore and has been way more popular with my little ones than anything else. 

    You need to consider which bit of your garden gets sun and when. This is important for planting, and also for entertaining - pick the bit that is sunny when you want to use it e.g. gets sun in the evening if you want to have evening meals outside.

    Also you might want to consider what plants are poisonous with having little ones- things like laburnum, foxgloves etc. 

  • Cleo13Cleo13 Posts: 106

    The sandpit idea is very good, but make sure it's covered when nothing use, cats like to use it as a toilet image

  • With regard to books, I would suggest Alan Titchmarsh's 'Complete How to be a Gardener.'

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    'How to be a Gardener' is on youtube

    I don't know if all the episodes are there but lots are. The link is number one.

    Basic gardeningimage

  • Thank you nutcutlet. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the first episode again this morning - a great start to my day off!. Love to get the series on DVD. Had it on video when it was first released but don't have a video player these days. Well worth watching.

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Look for robust plants - my garden has been built with the threat of footballs in mind.  And as they get older, they kick them harder!!

  • djjjukdjjjuk Posts: 211

    Hi Natalie, a photo of your garden would definitely help if you have one? and Busy Bee2, you're so right, i used to be the one doing that causing all sorts of damage to the fence and plants! cringe about it now but boys will be boys ..

  • PoddingtonPPoddingtonP Posts: 196

    I've just got a new greenhouse,and I'm seriously considering banning football/cricket in the garden when they are older. What was I thinking!? 

  • Wendy 11Wendy 11 Posts: 28

    oh you will get some good advise i am very new to gardening too image

  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,872
    Hi Natalie,

    Are you going to have any time for gardening with two small children? Whatever you decide to plant, make it (almost) maintenance free. A bit of lawn and some evergreens of various shades and robust nature might be the way to go. Anything that self seeds happily, like calendula, poppies and nigella, so you don't have to worry about summer colour, and lots of spring bulbs to cheer things along.
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